I live with someone who used to be addicted to cereal. I mean not just in the morning, but as a snack before bed too. So, when I say it’s our favourite granola, that includes my now paleo granola converted boyfriend. My attempt to wean him off grain and sugar loaded cereals works as long as I have an alternative standing by. That means I had to come up with a recipe that was tasty but also quick and easy so I can make a big batch every week.
Cook’s notes: You can use a variety of nuts and seeds in this recipe and a different type of dried fruit. Some nuts and seeds contain fairly high amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids. Macadamia nuts have the lowest amount but can be quite expensive. Our rule is to have plenty of Omega-3 rich foods to create a healthy ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. We granola every third day instead of making it a daily breakfast meal.
I also try to ‘activate’ nuts and seeds by soaking them in water with a pinch of salt or a teaspoon of vinegar for 7-10 hours. I then rinse and pat dry the nuts with paper towel and spread them in a thin layer on a baking tray or two. I then dehydrate them in the oven, on very low temperature (65-70 °C/150 °F), for 3-4 hours, stirring a couple of times. It’s a weekend project but is totally worth it as you remove a lot of the phytic acid found in most nuts and seeds and activate the enzymes which assist with the digestion of nuts. A little more on soaking nuts by Sally Fallon here.
Having said all that, most of you probably don’t have the time to do all of that so just enjoy your granola with regular nuts and limit to eating it a couple of times per week. And if cost is not a worry, then you can always buy pre-activated nuts online.
Serve with coconut/almond milk or coconut yoghurt, coconut cream or natural full-fat yogurt if you consume some dairy and fresh berries or fruit on top. I often take a handful in a ziplock bag as a snack on the go.
Here is another, slightly different recipe I posted a while ago, paleo granola with oven-baked strawberries.
- 3 cups mixed almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia and brazil nuts
- ⅔ cup dried fruit (plums, dried cherries, cranberries, apricots, figs or dates)
- ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- ⅔ cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
- ½ cup coconut flakes (if you have them)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2-3 tbsp honey (rice malt syrup, maple syrup or coconut syrup can also be used)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Optional but very nice: zest of 1 orange
- Dollop of coconut oil or ghee
- 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
- You will need a food processor or some other way to break the nuts into smaller crumbs
- Preheat oven to 165 °C (330 °F).
- Add two and a half cups of whole nuts (reserve the rest as whole nuts) and the dried fruit to a food processor. Process the mixture into medium size crumbs, some of it will turn into finer flour/meal like consistency but that's what we want - a variety of shapes and sizes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the remaining whole nuts and the rest of ingredients, excluding chia seeds. Mix well and use a wooden spoon or a spatula to break down the clumps which will form when coconut oil and honey come into contact with dry ingredients. It's ok if some of them remain unbroken.
- Grease a large baking tray with some coconut oil or ghee and line it with baking paper, making sure the sides are covered. Spoon the mix into the tray and flatten with a spatula.
- Bake in three stages. First bake for about 12 minutes and then stir the mix as the top would have browned by now. Then bake for 8-10 minutes and stir again. Finally bake for the last 4-5 minutes.
- Remove and let it cool completely. The mixture should have turned crispy and dark golden brown.
- Finally add chia seeds and transfer to an air-tight container. You can leave it out of the fridge for a few days but it will keep longer, for up to two weeks, if you refrigerate it.